Planting Garlic: Planting Tips

A Few Quick Tips on Planting Garlic

A Few Quick Tips on Planting Garlic
When planning your garden this year, think about adding something new yet very easy:  planting garlic.  Considering we use it continually to season our foods, plus the fact that garlic is very beneficial to our everyday health, it just makes sense to have a good supply of this fresh herb on hand.

Garlic is a very versatile herb.  Used as a seasoning in a vast number of dishes, it is also delicious as a bread spread and a dip.  Adding it to condiments such mayonnaise, sauces and mustards enhance the flavors and brings a whole new dimension to sandwiches.  There are even several soup recipes that use garlic as a major ingredient.  Planting garlic will ensure that the budding cook will have plenty of the delicious herbs to sample the wide varieties of dishes.

The characteristics of garlic do not end at culinary delights, however.  This herb has long been noted for its contributions to good health.  Generally speaking, the stronger the garlic flavor, the more beneficial it is to our health.  Many people believe that organically grown garlic fits into this category, so yet another great reason for planting garlic in your garden is in the knowledge that no chemicals or toxic sprays have been applied.  Some of the health benefits that are attributed to garlic’s properties are cholesterol level management, warding off the common cold, antibiotic benefits and more.  It has also been used as a mosquito repellant. 

The act of planting garlic is so simple that a beginner gardener can tackle it.  They are part of the allium family, which includes onions and shallots.  The most popular garlic variety to plant in home gardens is called, quite simply, common garlic.  Of this variety, several types have been adapted to meet climate needs of different areas.  Check with a local nursery or garden center to find which types of garlic are ideal for your particular region.  You should plan to buy commercial seed garlic to avoid any disease or unsatisfactory bulbs that could be present with supermarket varieties.

Fall to early winter is the best time for planting garlic; many believe it should be planted on the shortest day of the year.  The cool ground temperatures will keep the cloves from rotting, yet still retain enough warmth to enable them to take root.  Choose the biggest and fattest of the seed cloves; place them root end down in enough soil to cover them with about an inch of soil.  Now simply allow it to grow.

The garlic plant will grow, brown and then die away.  This indicates harvest time.  Simply dig up the plant, leaving the bulb and stem attached.  Hang these bulbs upside down in cool, dry place for a week or two to dry, then just brush off the dirt and store.

After seeing how easy planting garlic can be, give it a try in your garden.  Enjoy the rewards of delicious appetizers, dinners and improved health benefits with your own freshly grown garlic.

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